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October 24th, 2012 by Andrea Olivas
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Temple Station along with allied agencies conducted a Pedestrian Safety Operation in the city of Temple City on Wednesday morning from 7am until 11 am.
The purpose of this operation was to raise awareness of pedestrian rights on the roadway, and reduce vehicle vs. pedestrian collisions.
The Traffic Law Enforcement Task Force conducted the pedestrian safety operation at the intersection of Rosemead Boulevard and Garibaldi. Officers pulled over more than a hundred cars including an ambulance and a garbage truck during the sting. Many drivers that were cited were not happy with the officers, decoys or operation. Some claimed entrapment; others simply didn’t know that they had to stop. Where some felt it was only a way for the city to make money, onlookers felt it was a positive way to bring awareness to pedestrian safety.
The task force consisted of nine motorcycle units from the Sheriff’s Department, Alhambra PD, Monterey Park PD, San Gabriel PD, San Marino PD and South Pasadena PD. Plain-clothes deputies were walking back and forth across Rosemead Boulevard while the task force monitored approaching vehicles. Vehicles that failed to yield to the pedestrians were issued citations. The vehicles were cited in violation of CA. Vehicle Code § 21950(a).Which states “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.” As well CA. Vehicle Code § 21951 – Whenever any vehicle has stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.”
The average cost for the main cite of § 21950(a) is approximately $230. The misconception out there is that the city is awarded the money from the citation, where actually only a small percentage is given to the city; the majority of the fee goes to Los Angeles County, the State, and courts. An individual city would generate more money in giving a single parking ticket than a moving citation. A total of 146 citations were issued as well as 11 impounds, mainly due to unlicensed drivers.
Where some of the confusion lies in what constitutes a crosswalk:
Here’s the California Code according to the DMV: A crosswalk is that part of the roadway where the sidewalk lines would extend across the street and it is set aside for pedestrian traffic. Every intersection has a pedestrian crosswalk whether or not there are painted lines on the street. Most crosswalks are at corners but they can also be in the middle of the block. Before turning a corner, watch for people about to cross the street. Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, even if the crosswalk is in the middle of the block.
Crosswalks are often marked with white lines. Yellow crosswalk lines may be painted at school crossings. Most often, crosswalks in residential areas are not marked.
Some crosswalks have flashing lights to warn you that pedestrians may be crossing. Look for pedestrians and be prepared to stop, whether or not the lights are flashing.
The DMV goes on to say: Pedestrian safety is a serious issue. One in six traffic fatalities is a pedestrian. Drive cautiously when pedestrians are near because they may cross your path.
A pedestrian is a person on foot or who uses a conveyance such as roller skates, skateboards, etc., other than a bicycle. A pedestrian can also be a person with a disability on a tricycle or quadricycle or in a wheelchair.
Respect the right-of-way of pedestrians. Always stop for any pedestrian crossing at corners or other crosswalks, even if the crosswalk is in the middle of the block, and at corners with or without traffic lights, whether or not the crosswalks are marked by painted lines.
Important: Blind pedestrians rely on the sound of your vehicle to remain aware of their surroundings, so it is important that you stop your vehicle within 5 feet of the crosswalk. Drivers of hybrid or electric vehicles need to remain especially aware of this, as the lack of engine noise may lead a blind pedestrian to assume that there is not a car nearby. Follow cues: When a blind person pulls in his/her cane and steps away from the intersection, this gesture usually means for you to go.